AMC opens up CAR T-Cell therapy center in Seoul

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Jan 2023: The Asan Medical Center (AMC) opened the first CAR-T cell treatment facility in the country after the government approved health insurance benefits for Kymriah’s CAR-T cell therapy.

AMC announced on Tuesday that its cancer hospital had opened a CAR-T facility and had started paying for Kymriah treatments that had been approved by Novartis.

Asan medical center seoul korea

In CAR-T therapy, immune cells (T cells) from the patient are removed and transfected with chimeric antigen receptors that target particular cancer cells. The patient is then given an injection of T cells to eradicate the cancer cells.

When treating patients with relapsed and refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) who are 25 years of age or younger as well as individuals with refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, Kymriah is covered by insurance (DLBCL).

Relapsed and refractory B-cell ALL and relapsed and refractory DLBCL have been extremely challenging to treat thus far, with the majority of these patients barely living for six months following diagnosis.

According to statistics, CAR-T treatment kills cancer in 50% of adult patients with relapsed and refractory DLBCL and roughly 80% of paediatric patients with relapsed and refractory B-cell ALL.


Professor Ho Joon Im CAR T Cell therapy specialist in South Korea

Image: Baby Lee receiving a small Christmas present from Professor Ho Joon Im (Courtsey: Asan medical Center website)

Only adult patients will be seen at the AMC’s CAR-T facility by the oncologists Yoon Dok-hyun, Cho Hyung-woo, and the haematologists Lee Jung-hee and Park Han-seung.

Im Ho-joon, Koh Kyung-nam, Kim Hye-ry, and Kang Sung-han, paediatric hemato-oncologists, will provide care for young patients.

Yoon Dok-hyun, the director of the AMC’s CAR-T centre, stated that although CAR-T therapy has a very dramatic effect, it may also result in negative side effects. The first interdisciplinary clinic for CAR-T treatment has been developed by AMC’s CAR-T centre in collaboration with numerous departments, including intensive care unit, neurology, and infectious disease, to build protocols to detect side effects early and provide safe treatment.


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